What does privatization mean in Latin American Education
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What does privatization mean in Latin American Education

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What does privatization mean in Latin American Education What does privatization mean in Latin American Education Presentation Transcript

  • What does “privatization” mean in Latin American education? Cristián Bellei & Víctor Orellana Center for Advanced Research in Education & Sociology Department University of Chile cbellei@ciae.uchile.cl Comparative and International Education Society Conference CIES 2014 -Toronto, Canada – March 10-15, 2014
  • Topics to be covered on this presentation 1. Basic conceptual definitions: public vs. private education 2. Categorizing privatization policies: a working framework 3. Privatization of education in Latin America: prototypical cases 4. Privatizing education to attain EFA goals and post-2015 challenges in LA countries?
  • 1. Basic conceptual definitions: public vs. private education • Increasingly, the notions of “public” and “private” education are fuzzy; they are gradual, not categorical concepts in the current educational policy arena • All institutional education has a public nature: weakening state role in the educational system can be considered privatization • All education is private: increasing family influences in the distribution of educational opportunities can be considered privatization • Public education is provided by public schools (i.e. controlled and managed by state agencies): an increase in the proportion of students attending private schools can be considered privatization • Pursuing social objectives, public goods, is the essential reason to support public education; private education can also pursuit social objectives, but it can give priority to private objectives
  • 2. Categorizing privatization policies: a general framework • Privatization policies have been promoted for different declared objectives: accommodate cultural diversity (e.g. Catholic Church); increase quality and competitiveness; expand access • Privatization is not a single policy, but a family of educational policies • (I) Internal privatization of public education: • Private providers of public school inputs (materials and processes): infrastructure; funding; non-educational services; educational materials (including textbooks); technical-pedagogical services • Private management of public school processes: school management is transferred to private agents: What are the key school decisions? Teachers, curriculum, admission, school closure • School - families/students relationship can be privatized: school choice (market dynamic); school fee payment (private contract); school management • In all these three dimensions a public school can be internally “privatized”, while remaining formally public
  • 2. Categorizing privatization policies: a general framework • (II) Open privatization of education: • Increasing private education provision by supporting the creation, operation or expansion of private schools (i.e. reducing private costs of attending private education) • Takes the form of an “agreement” in which the state provides public resources and makes some requirements as an exchange: • Public resources for private schools: privatization policies differ in the level of resources provided; in the level of autonomy private schools have to use those resources: free disposition funding (non- categorical funds); directed funds (categorical funds); provision of materials and services; and whether for-profit providers are allowed • Public requirements for private schools: no additional requirements; more accessibility to students; regulation of educational materials and processes; defined educational outcomes • Privatization policies will be more radical if the state provides more resources, free- disposition funds, with no additional requirements, to for-profit providers
  • 3. Privatization in Latin American education: prototypical cases • Chile: radical neoliberal reform (1980s), privatization policies within a market oriented educational system: school choice; universal vouchers, equal treatment to public and private schools, both non- for-profit and for-profit schools (funding and other resources); promotion of new private schools; no additional requirement to private schools; subsidized private schools charge tuition to families; subsidized private schools can select/expel students • Colombia: PACES Program (1990s) targeted voucher to low-income students to increase secondary enrolment, for-profit providers allowed; Concession Schools (2000s) (PPP model, similar to US charter schools): a 15-years contract, in which state decides where to open schools, provides public infrastructure, select students, per- capita funding, set performance goals; non-profit private agencies manage schools with high levels of autonomy (curriculum, pedagogy, teachers)
  • 3. Privatization in Latin American education: prototypical cases • Argentina: prolonged relevant presence of private education (mainly Catholic schools) –around 30%-, serving mainly middle and upper classes; most private schools are subsidized by the state, but they are not- for-profit and receive lees resources than public schools; since 1990s, decentralization of public education transferring responsibilities from federal to provincial authorities; testing and accountability introduced; focus on quality and efficiency • Brazil: private schools account for less than 10% of enrollment (mainly upper class, Catholic), some of them receive partial state subsidies, as long as they are non-for-profit; since the mid 1990s, decentralization of public education to municipal level, efficiency, testing and accountability policies; focus on increase coverage and quality
  • 3. Privatization in Latin American education: prototypical cases • Haití: extremely low educational coverage, severe difficulties to establish a national public educational system; 80% primary education is private (relevant presence of the Catholic Church), and receive state and international subsidies, but also charge tuition to families; World Bank voucher program and other international cooperation agencies support private schools to increase access • Fé y Alegría: Catholic (Jesuit) network of schools, serving low income students; the largest private education provider in Latin America (educating about 1.5 million students in 20 countries); cooperates with public authorities in several ways, depending on the country; most of its resources come from state subsidies • Cuba: it is a counter-example, with a fully state free education, high coverage and high students’ performance; but Cuba also implements several “accountability” policies, including teacher performance evaluation, assessment instruments to schools, and corrective measures based on performance
  • 4. Privatizing education to attain EFA goals and post-2015 challenges in LA countries? • Latin American countries have implemented a wide range of educational privatization policies: • Basic promotion, and tax benefits for non-profit providers and donors • Direct subsidies (probably the most common and traditional form in LA) • Partial contracts in both non-educational support functions and educational aspects (like teacher training and textbooks) • Concession contracts for private management of public schools • Vouchers and school choice, universal, open to for-profit providers • Results?: private schooling and private spending in education are higher in LA than in OECD countries; there is no evidence of private school’s advantage in terms of academic achievement (compared to public schools); and private education has been associated with higher SES school segregation in LA • EFA challenges in Latin America: improve quality and increase equity (low SES and indigenous students), therefore, no evidence to support privatization as an educational policy priority; nevertheless, low quality public education -especially in poor areas- will continue providing arguments for those interested in expanding private education in Latin America
  • Percentage of private enrolment in primary education: 1970-2011 Source: UNESCO-UIS database
  • Private spending as a percentage of total education spending: Primary Secondary Dominican Republic 50.0 54.7 Guatemala 26.2 74.3 Peru 23.8 40.8 Chile 20.7 22.5 Colombia 18.1 21.4 Mexico 16.1 22.4 Paraguay 15.8 20.1 Argentina 6.5 8.6 Cuba 1.5 - Barbados - 2.7 Source: UNESCO-UIS database Average private spending on education : 1.2% of GDP in Latin American countries (a third higher than average private spending of 0.9% of GDP in OECD countries).